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The Key to Staying Connected with Long-Distance Friends

Written By:

Syra Salam

Long-distance friendships can be one of the most excruciating pains of life. If you’re planning to move away, even temporarily, or travel a lot, you are bound to know this misery. The uncertainty of hanging out with them again (if ever) and the realization that distance could probably be the end of a good friendship is worrisome! So, what can you do to keep that connection alive? We know the solution!

The first thing to do is keep an optimistic and determined attitude! Though it sounds very difficult, with a little bit of effort from both sides you can easily maintain your friendship with anyone over a long distance! Here are a few tips to stay connected to your cherished friends. 

Tips on maintaining friendships through distance and time

For this to work, both parties must put in equal effort. If only one of you is constantly trying to keep in touch, you are likely to get tired and give up eventually and very soon. Besides, if that friend of yours is not even willing to try to stay connected, are they even worth the hard work of keeping in touch? 

Therefore, with a friend who is willing to work with you to maintain the friendship, here is what you can do to handle the long distance.  

Make time!

This may sound very dumb but it is the first and most difficult thing to do! You are probably thinking that your decision to maintain a long-distance friendship makes it obvious that you will be making time. However, that is easier said than done. It is normal to deprioritize making time for a long-distance with busy schedules, family, friends, clashing time zones, etc. 

So, it helps to find a time and set a day or (days) out that works best for both of you and stick to that religiously! It helps with managing everything better. Try your best to not let any other plan interfere and do not compromise on it. The one time you do, it will only get easier to do it repeatedly.

Some good opportunities to easily talk to your friend are while commuting, doing home chores, cooking, etc. 

Be creative with your communication!

Pen pals sound fun but the chances of keeping long-distance friends increase with multiple modes of communication. For this, psychologists suggest communicating with each other about the preferred modes of communication. 

Mix it up with phone calls, video chats, texts, emails, and maybe even a handwritten letter from time to time. Sticking to a single mode of communication gets boring and exhausting super fast. Most long-distance friends prefer either emailing or texting with occasional phone calls. Writing out emails can become a hassle very soon and missing texts is common. 

If you have more than one or two ways to keep in touch regularly, you will bond better. Finally, as, difficult as it may sound, make efforts to meet in person as often as you can! Technology alone is not enough to make a friendship work and thrive.

Keep your communication interesting.

Running out of things to talk about can happen. Do not be scared of it. There will be times when you do not have much to say or talk about. Even if that does not happen for you, it is still helpful to do other things. For instance, plan activities you could do together. Why must long-distance friendship lack fun?

A Netflix party is a great way to watch movies together when apart! Movie nights could be your thing. In addition, there are several games such as Pictionary that you could play to keep things fun. Cooking together online is another alternative! Find out each other’s interests as well as things you enjoy in common and add some creativity to your regular communication. 

Planning fun activities like these will make you look forward to the time dedicated to your long-distance friend!

Avoid filtering your conversations

To prevent your friendship from crumbling under awkwardness you must keep things real. Do not try to filter out conversations by only talking about things in common between you two or just the good stuff. Always keeping the start direction to your conversations can easily exhaust you of words and things to talk about. 

Share things as you would to any other friend. Talking about your day, the little things that bugged you, a cute cat on the street that made you happy, literally anything and everything counts for a conversation! 

Be open about your feelings

It is a common thing to avoid being honest about how you feel. You do not want to appear desperate by telling them you miss them; you do not want them to think you’re clingy by telling them you thought of them in your day. This overthinking is dangerous to your friendship!

Be honest. Tell them when you miss them even if it is every day. Tell them what made you think of them. Communicate your adoration of them. These tiny gestures matter greatly in the end. Knowing that you are in someone’s thoughts is a beautiful feeling. Why deprive your friend of that just to maintain a cool front? 

Finally, remember important dates, surprise, and celebrate!

Birthdays, anniversaries, happy moments, and accomplishments all must be celebrated! Such gestures convey how important the friend is to you and how much you love and cherish them! Throwing in a surprise visit on a birthday, sending flowers or small presents upon good news, all these things can help keep your friendship healthy. 

Keep track of all the important dates and mark them on the calendar too! Do not confuse this with grand gestures all the time. It need not be something big at all. The pressure of always doing something expensive can also trigger the decay of friendship. So, avoid such pressures and do whatever you do for a friend with love and genuine feelings. 

Long-distance friendships are the most beautiful challenge. Moreover, if you make them work, they can turn out to be magical. So, put in the hard work and try your best with an optimistic attitude. Who knows, you might even end up finding a soulmate in your friend. Is there anything for romantic than that? 

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